By: Zakeriye Ahmed, Horn diplomat correspondent
Hamza Abdi Barre, the prime minister of Somalia, announces a new cabinet after 38 days in office.
On June. 15, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud appointed Hamza Abdi Barre as the country’s new prime minister and Barre got approved on June 25, but he failed to form a new government within 30 days mandate. On July 25, Barre requested Somalia’s lawmakers ten additional days to nominate a new cabinet.
Farhan Mohamed Jimale, the spokesperson, communication and public relations director of the PM’s office, read Barre’s statement on Tuesday afternoon regarding the appointment of 75 cabinet members.
Former Al-Shabab deputy Mukhtar Robow, who was under house arrest in NISA for almost three years, was appointed the country’s new religious affairs minister. In 2017 Mukhtar was removed from the “most wanted list” of terrorists in the world run by the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, according to MPR News.
Salah Ahmed Jama, former minister of constitutional and member of Somalia’s upper house, was appointed as the deputy prime minister. Salah was the ally of former regime Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
The cabinet list, which has 75 members consisting of 26 ministers, 24 state ministers and 25 deputy ministers, will have to be approved by parliament before they can assume their duties.
The new government will face many challenges, including one of the worst droughts that hit Somalia in 40 years, affecting half of the population and still increasing.
Al-Qaida-linked group, Al-Shabab, is the most significant security challenge for this horn of Africa nation. Al-Shabab controls large rural areas in southern and central Somalia and continues to carry out attacks and assassinations in Somalia and neighbouring countries like Ethiopia and Kenya. However, the appointment of Mukhtar Robow is another challenge for Alshabab.
In July, Al-Shabab attacked Yeed and Aato, the border between Somalia and the Somali region under Ethiopia, twice. However, Al-Shabab crossed the border and attacked the Hulhul district of Afdheer region of the Somali region under Ethiopia.
The list of ministers nominated is:
1- Salah Ahmed Jama, Deputy Prime Minister.
2- Mukhtar Robow, Endowment and Religion
3- Hassan Mo’alim, Justice and Constitution
4- Ahmed Mo’alim Fiqi, Interior, Federal and Reconciliation.
5- Dr Elmi Mohamud Nur, Finance
6- Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur retains Defence
7- Abshir Omar Huruse, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
8- Farah Sheikh Abdulqadir, Education
9- Mohamud Abdirahman Beenabeene, Planning and Investment
10 – Gen Abdullahi Ahmed Ilka-jir, Ports and Transportation
11 – Fardowsa Osman Dhore, Air and Land Transport
12- Jama Hassan Khalif, Post and Telecommunications.
13- Hassan Hussein Elaay, Animal Husbandry
14- Jibril Abdirashid Nur, Industrial and Trade
15- Ismail Abdirahman Bashir, Public Works and Housing
16 – Khadija Mohamed Diriye, Women and Human Rights
17- Dr Abdirisak Omar Mohamed, Petroleum and Minerals
18- Mohamed Ahmed Doodishe, Internal Security
19- Ahmed Madobe Nunow, Agriculture and Irrigation
20 – Dr Ali Haji Adan, Health
21- Ahmed Hassan Adan, Fisheries and Marine Resources
22- Da’ud Aweys, Information
23 – Bihi Iman EgeH. Labour and Employment
24 – Jama Taqal Abbas, Electricity and Water
25- Mohamed Barre Mohamud, Youth and Sports
26- Khadija Al-Makhzoumi, Environment and Climate Change.